Cairns Travel Guide
Ask Australians to name the best holiday resort in their country and most will probably say Cairns. Consult a Cairns travel guide and read about its tropical climate and proximity to two world heritage sites: Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, and you will rapidly understand its popularity. It sits at the top of northern Queensland on the east coast of Australia, facing the Coral Sea.
Inland to the rainforest or offshore to the Great Barrier Reef, has to be the main dilemma facing Cairns tourism. Of course most visitors will explore both as fortunately there are many opportunities in Cairns to do so. So, in no particular order, here are some of the exciting things on offer to visitors of Cairns.
The Daintree National Park can be found north of Cairns. At around 1200 k², it is Australia’s largest continuous rainforest and home to a huge variety of flora and fauna. At over 130 million years old and still buzzing with exotic life, it is also one the world’s oldest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it shelters some rare species of birds which exist nowhere else in the world as well as marsupials and strange, exotic plants.
The 3000 kilometre long Great Barrier Reef, the only living entity discernible from space, is a kaleidoscopic delight of marine life for snorkelers and divers. Chartered tours or boat rides out to it are easily arranged in Cairns. There are also tours in glass bottomed boats for less confident swimmers or inexperienced divers. However you view it, it is one of those astonishing wonders you absolutely must see while you have the chance.
For adrenalin junkies, go white water rafting on one of Cairn’s three main rivers; or try sky diving over Reef and Rainforest, or bungee jumping at the legendary A. J. Hackett’s Smithfield Tower. Alternatively, you could take a truly breath-taking hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands. Eat your breakfast as you watch the sun lighting up the horizon of the fabulous Australian landscape. Feed kangaroos or watch intrepid keepers feed rats to hungry crocodiles and alligators at the Johnston River Croc Farm.
Brush up your knowledge of Aboriginal culture and history with a guided tour along the mangroves and flats, looking for edible herbs, fish and crabs while enjoying the dramatic scenery. And of course, you must allow time to relax on one of Cairns’ exquisite Northern Beaches to experience a true taste of paradise on earth.